Soda Can Culture

“For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it” Hebrews 12:11.

I was talking to one of my dearest friends the other day. She was having troubles in her relationship and was become increasingly frustrated.  Was He THE ONE? How was she supposed to know? Was she talking herself into him or out of him? How could she decipher between what was real and what was in her head?

I suggested she pray about it. “Cookie-cutter Christian response, I know. But, I believe in the power of prayer and I know that part of you does too. Pray that His will be done in their relationship. Pray that He will bring clarity to your confusion.” With a little stubbornness and a lot of disappointment, she responded, “I’ve tried that before. It didn’t work.”

We live in a world of immediate satisfaction. We have all become both slave and master to it and I’m guilty of it most of all. If I have to wait in line for more than few minutes – If I have to wait too long for a meal – if it’s 5:15 and we made plans for 5:00. We want things and we want them now. We want things and we want them to come easily.  

The truth is, we live in a soda can culture: A mentality that treats everyone and everything like they should be accessible with the pop of a can. If I can’t have it now and I can’t have it with ease, it’s not worth the time. It’s the mentality that says I shouldn’t have to work for it.

 What’s worse, we treat God this way. If He isn’t ready when I call, _______. Fill in the blank: He doesn’t care, He’s not powerful enough, He doesn’t hear me. We turn our backs to Christ and to the life He has called us to. We push Him far so that we cannot hear His yearnings for us. And yet, the brief moment we decide we could use a hand, we expect Him to be ready to move mountains for us.

 What if we applied this mentality to other things in our lives? I tried riding a bike once, it didn’t work.  I tried moving to a new city once, it didn’t work. I tried dating once, it didn’t work. Seems silly doesn’t it? If we applied this attitude to other things in our lives, we can safely assume we would accomplish a whole lot of nothing. But when it comes to our relationship with God, we make a selfish and foolish assumption that He should simply be present at our every whim, regardless of our desire for Him in our everyday lives.

The essence of relationship is that both parties are actively working to maintain it. That it is a partnership. That it is not one sided. What is it that allows us to treat God this way? Let us work for Christ, and He will work for us. Let us show up for Him each day, knowing that in return – He will show up for us with infinite grace.

God, help us cast off a soda can culture for the continual investment in prayer that creates a more intimate relationship with you than we have ever know.


Sarah Witmer